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  1. #1
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    Newer Components on an Older Bike?

    Hi everyone,
    I recently acquired a 1989 Trek 1400. I have the frame, wheelset, and crankset but everything else will need to be replaced. Is it worth my money to put new components on this frame? I'm planning on using the bike for light riding as well as commuting to work (around 10 miles round trip). I do not mind putting money into the bike because I enjoy working on projects. Also, would I be able to find components that would be compatible with a bike of this age?
    Thanks for any input in advance.

  2. #2
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    Do you know how many speeds the cassette is? The rear spacing could be an issue, but not a deal breaker.

    Almost anything other than the shifters in current technology will be compatible with that bike except press in bottom brackets and threadless headsets.

    If your rear wheel is not 8 speed, it might make it more difficult, but if you're willing to go with modern spacing (for 8/9/10/11 speed), you won't have any problem going with whatever set up you want. If you need to spread the rear triangle to accommodate a modern-er wheel, it's not a difficult do-it-yourself and a lot of us would be able to point you to instructions and advise.

  3. #3
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    If you enjoy working on projects, then yes, it will be worth your while to build this bike. It will become even more worth your while, if you could join a bicycle co-op in your area, where they might very well have a large resource of donated parts and components. Components that will become available to you, because you're a member of their co-op.

    Besides, if you already have the frame, the wheelset, and the crankset, then the extra added expense can't possibly be that challenging.

    Have fun and good luck!

  4. #4
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    I will try to offer up some advice on the topic. If I have learned anything during my time with these forums it's that "worth" is very subjective and unique to the individual's situation.

    From your post it sounds like you will need quite a bit to make the bike whole again (derailiers, brakes, headset, fork, handlebars, etc?). I don't think that there is anything wrong with putting newer components on an older bike, so long as they fit mechanically. For instance, older bikes have a narrower spacing between the drop outs than do current bikes. This spacing would dictate what type of wheel setup you could install being mindful of the Over Nut Measurement of the read hub.

    Derailiers could be another point of contention. Did the bike originally come with indexed shifting? Do you want to keep that, change to friction, or go all out with an integrated brake/shift combo?

    Budget, vision of the completed project, and overall ability to source the parts will all be challenges for you on the project.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input so far everyone! I really appreciate the willingness to help out a newbie haha. In response to Camillo right now I have a 7 speed cassette. From the small amount of research I have done I believe this is original to the bike. In response to the other input, I might have a little more research to do than I originally thought haha. Once again, I really appreciate the insight.

  6. #6
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    Putting new parts on an old frame may mean you wind up spending more in parts than you could sell the bike for. Some would say it's not a good idea to upgrade your bike for that reason. On the other hand, my opinion is that resale value isn't as important as the bike's actual value to you. You'll wind up with a nice bike, probably better than one you could buy for the price of parts alone, and you'll have fun wrenching on it.

    Before spending a dime, though... Are you sure the frame is your size? How tall are you? What size is the frame? (Look for a size decal or measure the seat tube from the center of the cranks to the top of the seat tube.) If it isn't your size, then it's not worth building up for yourself. When it comes to bikes, sizing is sort of like shoes. If they don't fit, it doesn't matter how nice they are. You can't use 'em.

    The 7-speed setup on that bike should be relatively easy to find parts for, new or used. There are even new integrated shifters ("brifters") for 7-speed drivetrains available (Shimano ST-A070) if you'd prefer those to the downtube shifters that would've originally come on your bike.

    I'd suggest taking some pictures of your bike, making sure to get good shots of whatever parts are present, and posting those along with any questions in the mechanics forum.

  7. #7
    Senior Member slorollin's Avatar
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    I have an old Puch that I bought new in 1981. Over the years I've made a few changes and have always been able to find parts for both upgrades and repairs. The on-line bicycle community is a wealth of knowledge at your finger tips. Probably my biggest frustration has been finding QUALITY alloy wheels in the 27 x 1 1/4 size.
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  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    C&V section is full of people doing that . latest 10x2 components on a older hand made steel frame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwreck92 View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I recently acquired a 1989 Trek 1400...Also, would I be able to find components that would be compatible with a bike of this age?
    Thanks for any input in advance.
    It all depends on how much you love the bike. I got a late 80's Hard Rock for free. I put on fenders, lights, and a rack. As I had more money, it got a nicer rack and street slicks when the knobbies wore out. After 5 years, I took it and had the LBS go through it and update all the components. So, 300 dollars of work on a free bike. Worth every penny.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  10. #10
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    A couple of things on that bike. It's an Aluminum frame so respacing the rear is not recommended... But is spaced at 126mm (possibly 128) so you may be able to spread it by hand. Borrow a 130mm rear wheel and see how easy it is to install. Otherwise everything else is standard threadings and sizes so it would be easy to upgrade. How much you spend is going to be based on your knowledge of components, how they work together, and smart shopping. I built my '91 Trek 400 in full ultegra 10s for far less than a new ultegra equipped bike would cost.

    retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos
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    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwreck92 View Post
    Is it worth my money to put new components on this frame? I do not mind putting money into the bike because I enjoy working on projects. Also, would I be able to find components that would be compatible with a bike of this age?
    1. Nope.
    2. That really changes everything. Sometimes it isn't "all about the money". If you find the mechanical process to be fun in itself, this looks to me like a perfect project to learn on.
    3. Since you already have the rear wheel, just be sure your shifters match the number of rear cogs on your wheel. You'll probably run into some other issues, but that's part of the learning process and fun.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

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